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Florida's Session Ends Next Friday

With less than two weeks remaining in Florida’s legislative session, we're counting on the help of You're the Cure advocates to help us end session strong!

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Legislative Priorities 

  • Our Stroke Center legislation is moving well in the Senate and should be heard in its final committee next week. This bill will, in addition to other provisions, remove self-attestation as an option for stroke centers to be recognized by AHCA, the hospital regulator. It’s probable the House companion language, HB 993, will be heard in the Health and Human Services Committee next week.
  • Our Tobacco 21 legislation in the House died, but the issue remains alive as part of HB 7119. There are some issues with the bill in its current form. For example, it contains a preemption to the state of the age for tobacco and ENDS purchases, as well as a preemption to the state of the regulation and marketing of tobacco/EDNS products. The senate legislation, SB 1618, heads to its third committee and unfortunately contains an amendment that carves out cigars from the age increase. It’s ridiculous to raise the age for cigarettes, pipes, snuff, chew and ENDs, but not raise the age for cigars.
  • Our legislation to create a statewide STEMI Registry failed to garner any traction this year due to opposition by the American College of Cardiology-Florida Chapter and Tampa General Hospital. With many changes in store at the national level the bill may have been ahead of its time. We will review the environment after session concludes and determine whether or not to bring the issue back during the 2020 legislative session.

Preemption Popped Up

This legislative session, preemption has popped up in more than 30 bills! 

Preemption is the act of one level of government telling a lower level of government. In Florida’s case, it's when the state dictates to cities and counties that they must do “at least A” or “cannot do more than B.” Preemption can be applied to almost any issue, from a local ordinance increasing the minimum legal sale age for tobacco, a local tax on cigarettes, whether or not you can have a vegetable garden in your front yard, or whether or not your Airbnb rental can rent to persons under 25.

The American Heart Association opposes preemption in any form, especially health care preemption as it relates to local regulation of tobacco issues. To raise awareness of the issue, we hosted a press conference on April 17th with a number of organizations that also oppose preemption. County Commissioners from Leon (Commissioner Nick Maddox) and Broward County (Commissioner Steve Geller) were in attendance and spoke about how preemption was making their work more difficult at the local level. Geller, as a former state senator, was able to talk about how the state used to approach working with localities. The press conference drew multiple members of the media, including radio, TV and print reporters from around the state - despite three other press events happening at the same time. 

You're the Cure alerts

The circumstances for all of these issues are very fluid and change almost by the hour. We sincerely appreciate all of the efforts by our You’re the Cure advocates for their ability to pivot and quickly turn on a dime as issues change. Stay tuned for future You're the Cure alerts!

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